The first crusade to free the Holy Land has ended. A mass of weary knights, squires, soldiers of fortune and Priests are making their way home across a Europe that has changed forever. George (James Purefoy), a handsome English knight, unsettled by the horrendous bloodletting he witnessed in Palestine, desires to hang up his sword and settle down to a quiet, peaceful life. On returning to England, he heads north where he's heard the land is good and the population sparse, and of a kindly King named Edgar (Simon Callow). He finds King Edgar in a terrible state. His beautiful daughter, Princess Lunna (Piper Perabo) has recently disappeared. In return for a small plot of land, George agrees to search for Princess Lunna. With Edgar's faithful servant, Elmendorf (Bill Treacher), George sets out. George discovers the Princess and the truth behind her strange disappearance. The quest now set before them ends in a love, a lie, and a legend that has lasted for a thousand years.Written by
They always say never judge a book by its cover. Well, the truth is we all do, even though we know better. Some do it more than others. Me? Well, I guess I'm no different.
I saw this movie listed on my "You might like this" list at one of the DVD websites, and, after scoffing at it here and there, wondering what kid of film would have such unimpressive DVD cover art (technically very good, but nothing unique) for a title I'd never heard of? After a while I became curious, dismissed it, then became curious again, until I finally broke down a bought a copy.
It was pleasantly enjoyable for what it was. The sets, costumes and even the acting were respectable and entertaining. The truth is this is a kids' flick, so you can't really expect true-to-history swordsmanship and all that went with it. It's meant to tell a tale of knights and chivalry to youngsters who are into that sort of thing. And the film does so successfully.
I have no great love for the film, but I appreciate it for what it is, and even then I think it's A quality flick in terms of historic children's' fair. Respectably shot, though somewhat skidding a rough gray area of prosaic and inspired lensing, the film achieves a certain artistry that might be compared to some of the black and white classics in terms of shot composition. But maybe that's getting too high- falutin' for film meant for younger ages.
There's some contemporary pop culture references, and the acting is a little over done, but again it's all aimed at younger audiences.
The one interesting aspect was to see Patrick Swayze in a historic/fantasy film. One is so used to seeing him in films dipped in Americana that it almost almost seemed out of place for a middle aged Texan to be donning chain mail and strapping on a sword. But, he's an actor. That's his job. He can be anybody. Does he succeed? He sure does. He's in the same thespian league as the rest of the cast.
It's an entertaining little film that should put grins on young boys and girls alike on a lazy weekend. If my adult side had a serious criticism, well, I'll just keep those to myself :-)
Not a big favorite of mine, but something that shows that a film in this genre can succeed. It's a film that despite being aimed at younger viewers, shows that there's more than enough story material that can be eeked out of a period that's very unfamiliar to most people. In fact this film didn't need all the theatrics and SFX had it been aimed at an older crowd. It shows how this kind of stuff is truly interesting to people... dragons or no.
With that in mind, give it a chance.
Enjoy with the family :-)
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